Red Cross Red Crescent turns to Rakuten Viber to fight COVID-19 infodemic

Geneva, 10 September 2020 The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Croatian Red Cross today signed a new partnership agreement with global messaging app Rakuten Viber to engage new online audiences with trusted COVID-19 information and share humanitarian stories of hope.

IFRC first collaborated with Rakuten Viber on a campaign for World Blood Donor Day in June, with a pack of bespoke stickers encouraging people to give blood shared over 800,000 times on the platform. The campaign drove over 160,000 Viber users to join IFRC’s Community where they continue to engage with regular, accurate updates about COVID-19, as well as learn about the vital humanitarian assistance delivered by Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers worldwide.

For today’s official launch, IFRC worked with Viber to develop a brand new pack of vibrant and inclusive stickers designed to promote kindness and solidarity among the platform’s users and encourage them to volunteer with the National Society in their country. IFRC has also launched a Russian language Community to engage with the app’s strong user base in Eastern Europe, with an Arabic language Community soon to follow.

Anna Znamenskaya, Chief Growth Officer at Rakuten Viber, said: “As a leading messaging app, we play an important role in delivering verified information to our users, and we see it as our responsibility to do so. Through our strategic partnership with the IFRC, we are staying true to our commitment. We can share with pride that we are engaging more and more users in the humanitarian activities of the organisation globally, not only informing users in the IFRC community, but also providing them with tools to spread the word about the campaign.”

IFRC Director of Communications, Derk Segaar, said: “In the midst of a coronavirus infodemic, this new partnership with Rakuten Viber will help IFRC continue its vital work spreading facts not fear, and hopefully inspire a generation of new humanitarians.”

“IFRC is delighted to formalise our partnership with Rakuten Viber and take our growing Community to the next level. As the world’s largest humanitarian network, we’re always looking for new ways to engage with our millions of volunteers and their communities online – and to do that we need to meet them on their preferred channels,” Mr Segaar said.

Executive President of the Croatian Red Cross, Robert Markt, said: “We at the Croatian Red Cross are proud that such a small but creative National Society can contribute globally to the spread of humanity.”

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